On Wednesday 6 March, the ProCrew team organised a third Industry Consultation Seminar, in order to update collaborating partners from industry on the state of play of the project and also to get feedback on the work done so far. Participants included representatives from the Malta Maritime Forum, Manoel Island Yacht Yard, MBR publications, Melita Marine, Ocean Skies, C&N Marina (Birgu), Valletta Cruise Port and Transport Malta (the State regulator of land, sea and air transport services).
The proceedings kicked off by Dr Mario Cardona, MCAST Deputy Principal, who introduced the team and gave an overview about ProCrew. Ing Stephen Sammut, Director of the Institute of Engineering and Transport, delved into more detail about the Yacht Hotel Services courses. Mr Eugenio Busuttil explained the Deck Officers courses, whilst Ing Godwin Caruana highlighted the contents of the Marine Engineering courses.
Ing Sammut then opened the floor for feedback. An interesting discussion took place and most of the stakeholders contributed with their ideas and their comments. The session ended with a light networking lunch.
On 8 April 2019, the ProCrew team including prospective lecturers, visited Palumbo Superyachts Malta Ltd, a strategically located facility dedicate to the servicing of superyachts sailing in the Mediterranean, with exceptional infrastructure, offering a high level of skills and hospitality. Operating as a dedicated super yacht facility since 2002, the Yard is located in a unique setting within the Grand Harbour of Malta.
The area of more than 45,000 square metres includes a 160 metre-long graving dock, a canopied 140 metres graving dock and more than 400 metres of quay for alongside, afloat repairs. Shore services include workshops, storage facilities and offices for the administration and crew. The docks and quays are served with rail mounted cranes, coupled with the extensive space available for storage, mobile cranes, forklifts and hydraulic platforms which enable the facilities to cater with ease for large vessel requirements.
The training session:
The training session kicked off with an introduction about ProCrew by the Deputy Director in charge of MCAST’s Centre for Maritime Studies, Mr Eugenio Busuttil. The host at the facility, Mr Simon Zammit, General Manager of Palumbo Super Yacht Facilities, gave a brief description of the core activities of Palumbo Super Yachts. This was followed by an intense training session that delved into the following areas:
• Overall responsibilities of the yacht Master (Captain) and his position vis-à-vis the owners of the yacht;
• Administrative status and role of the yacht Master (Captain) with respect to operative orders;
• Problems arising during crew control, communications and onboard environment due to potential multicultural nature of the yacht crew;
• Hosting guests on board, ethics and behavior;
• Crew general training and retention;
• Overview of crew nationalities
• Hospitality programmes organized directly by the crew;
• Maintenance of yachts when on shore;
• Cooperation between yacht crew and shipyard personnel;
• Processes of working on a diesel engine particularly on a superyacht;
• Processes of working on a main propulsion shaft in a dry-dock;
• Problems arising during the superyachts’ maintenance schedule;
• Intensive assessment of fuels and lubricants;
• Classification Societies and their impact on yacht operations;
• Getting to know the equipment on-board and courses given by equipment manufacturers.
While going around the facilities, the participants in this training session could see maintenance and servicing works taking place on super yachts docked at the facilities. Participants could wee such dock work as painting, ranging of chains, engineering shaft-work preparation and a variety of shore services.
The next milestone is a train-the-trainer course focused on the use of on-line platforms for blended learning methodologies. The aim is to be able to provide training to mariners through on-line virtual learning environments, minimizing face-to-face teaching to make upskilling more convenient and accessible.
The first Promotion Campaign for the Pro Crew courses in schools came to an end with the 12th and final visit on Tuesday 26th March; this time it was the turn of St Martin’s College annual careers’ fair. Students aged fourteen to eighteen attended the fair. St Martin’s Institute is an independent educational establishment, situated in Swatar, and has a Maltese and an international student population.
During the fair a good number of students visited the ProCrew stand, asking about the courses being offered. During the fair we gave students an insight into the opportunities available in the local and international maritime industry and the courses that they would have to take up, which lead to various careers in the small vessel industry. Working on a sea-going super yacht seems to attract the imagination of the most daring young people.
It was a lovely experience going around different schools and meeting students and teaching staff. We know that now students will be breaking up for a short Easter break and then will concentrate on the Secondary Education Certificate Examinations. Others will be preparing for the end of year examinations. So we thank you for hosting us in your schools and wish you all the luck in your studies. Please in touch with us through our webportal for updated information about ProCrew.
The drive to promote the Pro Crew courses continued with a visit to St Theresa College Secondary School at Mrieħel, on Friday 8th March. Our team organised an information session for 15 and 16 year-old students at the school.
During this tenth information session Ing Godwin Caruana assisted by Mr Julian Izzo delivered a presentation including a short video highlighting the carreer opportunities for future learners who will be taking up ProCrew courses. Information was provided about the various courses being offered and how they lead to the various career opportunities in the maritime sector, particularly the Small Vessel Deck Officers, Hospitality Stewards, and Marine Engineering routes. Information was also given about the increasing job opportunities resulting from the expanding super yacht activity in Maltese marinas.
Around fifty students attended this information session. Both during and after the presentation several students asked MCAST representatives various follow-up questions, showing that information about the maritime sector and the super yacht area in particular, is sometimes lacking. These ProCrew information sessions are going a long way in filling this void.
The Pro Crew campaign continued on Wednesday 13th March with an eleventh visit to a half-day career fair at De La Salle College in Birgu, up the hill from the Birgu Marina, home to Malta’s finest super yacht facility. De La Salle College is a Church secondary school and the fair was targeted mainly at 15 and 16 who are about the finish their compulsory school years and are in the process of choosing their future career path.
The day kicked off with an information session for year 11 students in which Ing Godwin Caruana assisted by Mr Julian Izzo spoke about career opportunites in the sector. An informative video highlighted work on super yacths. Being close to the Birgu Marina, students could relate the information given to them to the yacthing activity taking place in the majestic Grand Harbour Marina, one kilometre down the road. Around a hundred students attended this interactive information session.
The session continued at the ProCrew information stand where various students and staff stopped over asking about the ProCrew courses. Godwin and Julian were more than happy to provide more information about opportunities in the local and international maritime small vessel industry.
The ProCrew information campaign continued on Wednesday 12 February when our team met the Church Schools guidance teachers at the Catholic Institute in Floriana for the 9th ProCrew information session. Church schools account for about 40% of compulsory school provision on the Maltese islands. About 20 guidance teachers attended the information session.
Ing Godwin Caruana, assisted by Mr Julian Izzo, delivered a presentation highlighting the career opportunities for students enrolling in the ProCrew courses. Guidance teachers play a vital role in helping secondary school students to make good career choices. Choosing elective subjects at the end of year 8 will have an impact on the array of study and work opportunities a student will be able to tap at the end of his or her secondary school. Similarly, in year 11 students, who would be finishing off their compulsory schooling need to make important choices, particularly whether to invest further in their education, and if so, in which path.
MCAST provides a very wide portfolio of study areas that are very closely linked to the labour market. The ProCrew courses provided at the Centre for Maritime Studies at MCAST is one such progression route into further and higher education.
The more guidance teachers are well informed about education and training opportunities beyond compulsory schooling, the more they are able to provide useful information to their students. We are sure that this information session has helped Church school guidance teachers to get very useful information that will enable them to give a better service to their students. This session was organised with the full cooperation of the Secretariat for Catholic Education of the Catholic Church of Malta.
MCAST’s ProCrew team’s roadshow continues. This time it was the turn of GEM 16+. The GEM 16+ is a school that gives a second chance to secondary school students who would need to sit again for core SEC subjects. It enables 16+ students who would have left compulsory education to get those much needed SEC passes in order to embark on the career of their choice.
On Wednesday 8th February our team, Ing Godwin Caruana and Mr Julian Izzo, visited the school in Gżira for the eighth information session.
The ProCrew team delivered a presentation highlighting the carreer opportunities that would open up to students enrolling for ProCrew courses. After giving general information about MCAST’s Centre for Maritime Studies (CMS), Ing Caruana highlighted the three different strands of ProCrew courses, namely, Yacht engineers, Yacht deck officers and Yacht stewards.
A group of about a hundred students from GEM 16+ attended the meeting. We are sure the students and staff of the school found the session very informative, following it up with further questions.
We wish the GEM 16+ students all the best for their upcoming examinations. We do hope to be able to host them at MCAST’s CMS in the very near future.
On Wednesday 23rd January our team visited Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary School at Naxxar. GCHSS is a further education institution that provides students with different educational pathways leading them to sit for Ordinary level Secondary Education Certificate examinations as well as for Intermediate and Advanced level examinations of the MATSEC Board.
Eng Godwin Caruana with the help of Mr Julian Izzo delivered a presentation focusing on the ProCrew courses among students and lecturers at the School. The presentation was delivered to a small group of interested sixteen and seventeen-year-old students. During the presentation some students asked MCAST representatives about courses and careers in the maritime industry. At this age, students would be exploring different pathways into their future. Yachting might be an exciting career for the more adventurous who are not afraid to move beyond the confines of our small island!
Eng Godwin Caruana with the help of Mr Julian Izzo delivered a presentation focusing on the ProCrew courses among students and lecturers at the College. During this session information was provided about career opportunities in the maritime sector, particularly about the Small Vessel Officers and Engineers routes, helping the students to understand better what careers are available, harnessing the increase in super yacht activity in Maltese marinas.
The presentation was delivered to a large group (over 200) of highly interested fifteen and sixteen year old students attending this school. After the presentation various students approached MCAST representatives asking about courses and careers in the maritime industry